Thursday , 21 August 2014

MyDefrag: Thorough defragmenter for both novice and power users

Disk defragmentation is a very important part of the system maintenance and optimization process. Proper defragmentation of the hard drive results in increased system stability and decreased access time. The number of applications that can do this is in fact overwhelming. However, we will always appreciate the ones that manage to successfully combine simplicity with effectiveness, like MyDefrag manages to do.

Installation & Requirements

MyDefrag (formerly JkDefrag) is a free lightweight utility, with a small installer that is less than 2 MB in size. The speedy setup is adware-free and the most important settings that the user has to perform are choosing the program’s components (by default all of them are included) and additional tasks (such as file associations and desktop shortcut).

MyDefrag supports Windows 2000, 2003, XP, 2008, Vista and 7 as it relies on the Microsoft defragmentation API which is not available in older versions of Microsoft Windows. While there are no hardware requirements, MyDefrag does need “full control” permissions to all the files and disks that must be defragmented/optimized, normally owned by the “administrator” userid. This doesn’t mean other users can’t run MyDefrag, but the program will only be able to defragment/optimize files and drives for which the user has “full control”.

Interface

MyDefrag’s utilitarian interface only provides useful features and options. The available scripts would probably confuse an inexperienced user had there not been such thorough information for each script. Using any of the scripts is a straightforward process: select the script, the drives and click on “Run” to start the process.

Besides defragmentation, MyDefrag can also place the most used files at the beginning of the disk, which is considerably faster than the end. This can result in a dramatic speed increase but also prevents wear and tear of your hard disk. This option is available on its own as “Consolidate free space” or along with defragmentation and optimization as “Data Disk Daily/Monthly/Weekly” and “System Disk Daily/Monthly/Weekly”.

The “Analyze only” script is very useful to determine the level of fragmentation of hard drives. MyDefrag can handle internal and external hard drives but also other portable storage devices such as USB flash drives and even floppy disks. The visual representation of the analyzed drive may not be enough for the untrained eye to assess the level of fragmentation. An easier way of doing this is by accessing the log file stored in the installation folder of MyDefrag, which also shows the number of fragmented and unfragmented items on the analyzed drive(s) along with other information.

The other available options are the “Defragment only” script and “Flash memory disks” for flash and SSD disks. For the average user, the default collection of scripts is more than enough. However, experienced users that need more sophisticated disk optimizations can create their own scripts.

An easy to notice aspect of MyDefrag’s interface is the lack of a help button even though it doesn’t mean there is no documentation available. The help manual can be accessed by pressing F1 or from the MyDefrag Start Menu folder.

Pros

- Small, resource-friendly program.

- Fast defragmentation and optimization.

- System files defragmentation.

- Power users can benefit from advanced settings via scripting.

- Comprehensive help manual.

- Multilingual support.

Cons

- Tasks can only be scheduled by adding the related scripts in Windows Task Manager.

- Doesn’t benefit from regular updates.

Alternatives

- UltraDefrag

- Defraggler

- DiskTune

Conclusion

Many users may find MyDefrag unattractive due to its plain GUI and somewhat complicated way of accessing certain features (such as the log file and scheduling tasks). Nonetheless, we consider its powerful defragmentation and optimization capabilities, easily accessible even for beginners, to be worth the effort.

About Cezar Renta

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